The Deacon's Bench

The recent visit of a Cardinal to Medjugorje has attracted a fair amount of attention — and the local bishop isn’t happy:

010410_Medjugorje_2.jpgMost Rev. Ratko Peri?, the Bishop of Mostar-Duvno in Bosnia-Herzegovina, released a statement in which he criticizes Vienna, Austria’s Cardinal Christoph Schönborn for making a highly publicized “personal visit” to the region in which Mary is said to have been appearing since 1981.

In his statement, released on January 2, Bishop Peri? noted that it was his “duty, as diocesan bishop, to provide information to the faithful” regarding the nature of the apparitions, the divide they have caused in his diocese and the official position of the Church on the anomaly.

The apparitions have not been officially recognized by the Church.

Peri?’s statement explained that due to the ongoing apparitions and the ensuing debate, his diocese now unwillingly hosts a number of “new communities and associations of the faithful who, in disobedience, live at Medjugorje.” These communities, he said, “may become encouraged in their ecclesial disobedience because of the cardinal’s visit.”

The statement also called into question a November 13, 2009 statement from Vienna’s claiming that during Schönborn’s visit, “there will also be a meeting with the local bishop and the critics of Medjugorje.” However, as of the release of the bishop’s statement, the Diocese of Mostar had received no official communication from Schönborn’s office of the cardinal’s intent to visit the shrine. This lack of notification, Peri? said, displays the lack of a “certain ecclesial courtesy” among prelates who are want to inform their brother bishops when one is about to visit the other’s diocese.

The bishop concluded that Schönborn’s visit, especially his actions and statements, “have added to the current suffering of the local church.”

You can find more, including the bishop’s complete statement, at the link.

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